What are Fruit Flies Attracted to? [7 Fruit Fly Causes]

Keeping fruit flies away from your home will be very easy If you identify what attracts them. If you do not find their major source of attraction, they will keep coming back.

Fruit flies are attracted to anything that is decomposing in an environment that is moist and warm. This explains their constant presence in the kitchen, bathroom, and garbage containers.  They like decaying fruits and anything that is fermented will also attract them.

Here is a table of what attracts fruit flies the most and will make them keep coming back to your home;

1.Anything that is ripe will invite fruit flies98%
2.Decomposing food in the dustbin that is smelling100%
3.Any rotting fruit or food96%
4.A dump moist dustbin with food that has spent over one day in it90%
5Over stayed bread that is not fresh70%
6.Banana peels that has been left for sometime100%
7.Open beer bottles or cans100%
8.The smell of wine80%
9.Ripe tomatoes100%
10.Juice or soda that is spilled on the counters, table and floors98%
Main fruit flies attraction at home

In some cases, you may get rid of fruit flies at home but they keep coming back after some time.

What causes fruit flies?

If you wonder why fruit flies keep appearing in your house even after getting rid of them, here is a list of what causes fruit flies:

What attracts fruit flies
What attracts fruit flies?

1. Dirty drainage system

Another major attraction of fruit flies is a poorly maintained drainage system at home. A stinking drainage will always leave a bad smell lingering around your sink. This will attract those stubborn small flies to your kitchen.

It is one of the major reasons why fruit flies keep coming out of nowhere no matter what you do.

The best option is to clean your drainage and have it checked by an expert. It may be blocked or there may be something that is dead and decomposing down there.

The secret here is that fruit flies have a habit of laying eggs in extra dirty drainage that is poorly maintained.

They will keep having their young ones hiding down there and they pop out of nowhere when they smell some rotting vegetables or fruits in the kitchen.

2. Dirty plates in the kitchen

Fruit flies will also gather on dirty plates that have overstayed in the sink. Leftover food that contains decomposing cooked tomatoes in the sink will attract fruit flies in the kitchen.

It is always best to find a way of cleaning dirty plates and if possible, do not let them stay overnight.

Dirty plates in the kitchen will also provide them with a great environment to multiply fast by laying eggs.

Remember that their eggs can hatch in a day and that is why fruit flies are always in large numbers once they invade your house.

3. Smelly floor duster or mop

Using a dirty mop will also attract fruit flies at home in general. Mops have a way of retaining a bad smell if not properly washed and left to dry after using them.

Floor mops also retain water and they are always warm and moist. That provides a very good breeding point for fruit flies to lay eggs and multiply.

If you are moping any floor with spilt alcoholic beverage in it, use lots of water to wring. We know that those tiny flies love beer or fermented stuff.

A good solution is to always ensure you wash the mop after cleaning, then hang it outside for aeration.

If possible, use warm water to mop the floor. In case there is no sun, just aerate the mob so that it is not dump and moist.

4. Open garbage

If you have a small garbage bin placed at the corner of the house, this can be one of the major fruit flies’ attraction in the kitchen. Anything that is dumped there will definitely be decomposing and tat smell will invite them for a feast.

This is why you should find a bin that has a lead or a top cover. This will help in keeping them away. Also avoid dumping anything with water in the bin. Water will keep the bin moist and extra smelly thus attracting those flies.

If you have a large garbage bin outside, ensure that you keep it away from the house as possible. At the end of the day, we will all have waste from the kitchen and this is what fruit flies love most. So keeping the bin away is like keeping those annoying flies away as well.   

5. Moist kitchen cabinets & Cupboards

After cleaning your cups and diches, do not lock them up in the cupboards or kitchen cabinets while they are still wet.

This will make the wooden cupboards to be warm and moist with a foul smell especially if the dishes are not well washed and are oily.

This environment will therefore provide a perfect hiding place for the fruit flies to breed and lay eggs. If this persist, you will never be able to drive them away from home.

6. Leaking kitchen sink

You also need to keep the warm areas under your sink clean and dry. A leaking sink will make the area moist and smelly because of the dirty water from your washed plates.

This water definitely contains food particles that will be decomposing and attracting fruit flies under your sink.

This will also be a perfect ground for them to lay eggs this multiplying very fast. Get your plumber to fix any leakage under the sink and always keep the entire place dry and clean. You may also spray using the right pesticides so that they are totally repelled.

If you have a sink that has a cabined covering below, always ensure that you clean it daily and leave it open for aeration. Failing to do so will also attract other unwanted pests like the roaches that like to use those environments as their perfect hideouts.

7. Dirty Table Rag

A poorly wiped table will also attract fruit flies to your living room. This can be caused by the use of a dirty wiping cloth used to clean the table.

The flies will then keep hovering and landing on the table since they are trying to find the source of that foul smell on it.

Fruit flies will lay hundreds of eggs at once and all those can mature and turn into real flies in a day if they have the right breeding environment. This is why once you let them invade your home, fruit flies will never go away on their own.

The best remedy therefore is to observe the above list of what attracts them to your home and ensure that you deal with them in the best way possible. Clean up to destroy their eggs as well so that they do not keep coming back.

If you identify why fruit flies keep coming back to your house, you need to clear the source of attraction first.

After that, you can now make a home-made fruit fly trap to deal with any that may be attracted by temporary things like food leftovers or spilled drinks.

What causes fruit flies?

The causes range from rotting fruit, garbage and excrement. Vegetables and fruits that are rotten or rotting attract these insects. This is because they feed on yeast and the byproducts of yeast. Yeast is a common result of rotten products.

As such, fruit flies will never attack fruits that are not ripe. In cases where one buys groceries that are free from them, it is possible for them to fly in through various openings. At other times, one buys groceries that are infested with their eggs.

They can smell ripe fruits from a long distance. Their small size allows them to make their way through the tiniest crevices on the doors and windows of a house. Since their lifespan is so short, it only takes a few days for a full infestation to occur.

Things that fruit flies like

For fruit flies to get into the house there has to be a source of attraction. Knowing what attracts fruit flies can go a long way in assisting to get rid of them.

The garbage bins are one source of attraction. This can be attributed to the fact that they contain rotting foods vegetables and fruits included.

To prevent infestation, one should ensure they get rid of the garbage regularly. Where this is not possible, waste from vegetables and fruits should be wrapped up in plastic bags and tied up before being put in the main garbage bag.

Another breeding ground for the flies could be dirty dishes. These tend to attract bacteria. Bacteria will in turn attract the flies. Other things that attract them in the kitchen include sweet foods and drinks especially with some liquid involved.

Cakes and juices are not to be left lying around. Where they get into surfaces they have to be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the flies from laying eggs.

The same applies to wines and other sweetened drinks such as sodas and juices. The kitchen should be left clean. Dishes should be cleaned and dried.

In general, any fruits that are not refrigerated can harbor fruit flies. This includes:

  • Ripe fruits that are yet to be harvested
  • Fruits lying on the grocery counters
  • Fruits in the kitchen bowl.

The presence of their eggs is enough to cause mayhem in a few days because the fruit fly life cycle is completed very fast when subjected to the right environment.

How to Attract Fruit Flies with Vinegar

Once an infestation strikes, what do you do to get rid of the insects? A vinegar trap is an effective method of getting rid of them.

This involves to make a vinegar trap for fruit flies, all that one needs to do is pour some apple cider vinegar in a glass. Once done, cover the glass with a plastic bag and snip a small hole at the centre.

To make this more effective, you can snip the corner of the bag and place it in the middle in such a way that it forms a funnel shape into the glass. After this fasten it with an elastic band and wait for the flies to get trapped.

 What Attracts Fruit Flies besides Fruit

There are other things that attract fruit flies besides fruits. For them to develop, all that is needed is a moist environment with a film of fermenting product.

They can therefore be attracted by garbage, empty bottles or spillages of sweetened drinks, trash cans, mops, and other forms of cleaning rags.

When they get a chance to get indoors, these insects are persistent. They do not require the presence of a fruit to multiply. Other things could serve as bleeding grounds such as a leaking drainage system and wet mops and pieces of clothes.

These insect are common in summer just as they are common in winter. They are most common in hot and humid environment. They may at times pose a health risk. To get rid of fruit flies, it is necessary that one learns what their cause is.

Fruit flies in the kitchen or anywhere else in the house are as a result of a favorable breeding ground. Since they have a strong sense of smell, these insects can feel the presence of fermenting products from far causing them to force their way into the house.

They could also be caused by a transportation of the eggs from their point of collection before being brought into the house.

What Attracts Fruit Flies Most

Fruit flies are mostly attracted by organic matter that is in its fermenting stage. This mainly includes rotting and overripe fruits and vegetables.

These can be happen anywhere including the garden from where they are picked, when they are stored in the kitchen without refrigeration as well as at their point of sale. Once the eggs have been laid they can be transported to wherever the items are taken to.

Fruit flies are also known as Drospophila melanoaste. They are tiny insects with a lifespan of about a week.

Their female species have the ability to lay 500 eggs I that time of their life. This explains their large population despite their short lifespan.

Fruit flies can be stubborn. To be in a position to eliminate them, it is important to learn what causes fruit flies as well as what it is that attract fruit flies. With this knowledge, one can eliminate their source of attraction as well as learn how to trap the nuisance insects.

Fruit flies are insects that have a very first life cycle. In just seven or so days, they can mature from eggs to fully grown insects that are capable of breeding.

Their structures and survival instincts allow them to find fermenting items which are a great source of their food.


  1. UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment: Fruit Flies by Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
  2. USC University of Southern California: The secret life of fruit flies